Here we are again, the end of the year and boy what a mediocre year it was for anime as whole. Fortunately for us there were a few stand outs that were pretty much close to masterpieces and we even had a few shows that could pass for mainstream hits, Lord knows the Western anime fandom really needs one of those so thank Goodness for that. I was also incapable of running the Anime Bloggers Choice Awards this year for personal reasons but trust me it will be back in full force next year, so without further ado here we go, The best 12 anime that aired in 2013 were: Continue reading ‘Top 12 Anime of 2013′
With the announcement of Crunchyroll’s new manga programme I thought now would be a good time for me to talk about my experience with manga, how I first came across it and why I haven’t read any in close to 2 years now.
Back in 2007 when I was just becoming a full fledged anime otaku some of my anime connections frequently discussed manga. At the time I never really knew that most anime was adapted from manga, so when I saw the scanlated copies of Naruto I was pleasantly surprised but kind of underwhelmed. For one thing they weren’t even in colour. I was never really a comic guy to begin with so maybe that played a role as well. Continue reading ‘The Kidd’s Manga Chronicles’
This is my top 24 list of games I believe were the best this generation, if you have not already go read up the previous list to catch up, the game you are looking for just might be on there.
24. Company of Heroes
Studio: Relic Entertainment
Back in my early days of gaming I considered myself a PC Gamer, playing classics like Command and Conquer, Warcraft and Red Alert. I enjoyed my Real Time Strategy games. So how fitting was it that the game that brought me back to PC Gaming after dropping it for all these years was arguably the best RTS of this generation.
CoH had a brilliant single player campaign, fantastic use of dynamic terrain as cover or for setting traps, beautiful visuals and it also had Steve Blum as the announcer how cool is that. CoH does have a pretty steep learning curve but once you get the basics it’s so rewarding. The online Multiplayer matchmaking is some of the best I’ve experienced on any game, so go ahead hop on steam and get this baby if you haven’t already.
With the arrival of the final batch of next gen consoles looming I thought id list my favourite games of the past generation. I have a lot to say so We’ll get right into it.
50. Angry Birds
Studio: Rovio Studios
Well yeah Angry Birds, we all played it, had fun with it, some got addicted others didn’t. The impact this game has had is not something we can ignore it brought a lot of casual gamers in and continues to do so.
49. Dance Central 2
Platforms: XBOX 360
The Kinect had problems, yes it didn’t work half the time but when it did it was magnificent. I’ll be honest I’m not very good at Dance Central but it’s a lot of fun with friends and one of the only ways to get a bunch of drunk dude to embarrass themselves on camera.
48. Rock Band 3
One of these had to be on here, how could they possibly be ignored? I remember having my mind blown the first time I strapped on my plastic bass guitar and stroked away. It was like magic, my lifelong dream coming true; I was the Bass Guitarist of a Rock Band!
This is still one of the best party games ever made, it’s a shame they over saturated the market with themselves and ended up committing marketing suicide. We will miss you forever Rock Band.
47. Plants Vs Zombies
Studio: PopCap Studios
Im not much of a mobile gamer so I ended up playing this time sinker on my PC. I was astonished at how easily I got addicted to this game that had zombies in it, and we all know how I feel about Zombie games.
PvZ is one of those rare causal games that hits that sweet spot between accessibility and depth that any type of gamer can easily enjoy the many hours they spend with it. Its probably my favourite Tower defence game, ill even go out on a limb and say its the reason tower defence became such a big hit this generation.
46. Wii Sports
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
My very first encounter with motion control, I still recall it clearly after all these years. Holding that WiiMote and swinging at the virtual golf ball on the screen. It was such a mind blowing thing at the time and little did we know then that this little whit machine we were playing it on would win this console generation.
45. Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition
This is the game responsible for the renaissance of 2D fighters. We had waited years for the return of a proper Street Fighter and Yoshinoro Ono finally delivered.
Its Street Fighter, with all the perks and quirks.
Wold Children: Ame & Yuki is the latest feature film from famed anime director Mamoru Hosoda of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time fame. Its no secret that I am a huge fan of his and my expectations for his new film were very high. I expected the film to be a nice heart warming childrens film and my expectations were not exactly met, Hosoda instead gave me a Josei slice of life drama about a young woman finding love and raising two children. This was not by any means a bad thing because somehow, Hosoda managed to give me one of animes best examples of a strong female character, probably the best ive seen in years, Hana.
Hosoda’s strength in story telling has always been in the way he sets up his visuals, no dialogue was needed for me to know that Hana was falling in love or how much pain she felt when she lost her husband. All the characters in the movie are believable and very well developed.
The thing I loved the most about Hana’s character was how real she felt. She’s a character that is both strong willed and has some vulnerabilities. It’s the combination of both her vulnerabilities and tenaciousness that make her so endearing. I rooted for her whenever she did her best to raise a precocious young girl in Ame, I felt sorry for her whenever she had troubles with the neighbours over her kids behaviour, I felt fear whenever she was on her last penny and thinking of how she would raise the kids for another week as a single mother and I felt happy for her whenever she stood her ground or bettered herself in life.
Being raised by a single Mom myself, I related intensely with most of the situations Hana and her children were put through. Had Hana been made out to be an invincible super “miss independent I don’t need no man” woman the entire movies emotional message would have simply withered. The same is true of the opposite side of the spectrum, had she been a completely vulnerable woman needing help to raise her kids it would not have had the same impact either.
Hana’s character grows as well, she learns as she experiences new problems in life. Such as How to farm, how to teach her children to behave in public and her special problem of how to treat children that are half wolf/human. I really wish more media would give us more female characters like this, its really not that hard to pull off but when it is successfully done and done so masterfully, it makes for a true masterpiece.
The film is simply a masterpiece one of the best stories you will ever see about the trials of parenthood. It helps that the visuals are stunning and the character designs fit well with the story being told. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion, Summer Wars) returns as the lead character designer and Hosoda gives us his most touching piece of drama yet.
I highly recommend this film, highly.
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!” or Watamote for short is an anime that came out of nowhere to take the anime community by storm, the hardcore community anyway. The title roughly translates to “No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular,” and that is really the best synopsis for the show.
Disclaimer: I couldn’t really find a way to talk about this movie in a clinical manner because of how it personally affected me, this may be one of the most personal articles I have ever written. I hope you enjoy it regardless.
I recently managed to grab together the guts to watch Makoto Shinkai’s (5 cm per Second, A place Promised in Our Days) new film The Garden of Words. I had been avoiding watching it due to the fact that his movies tend to pack a serious emotional punch, almost like they are made specifically to personally torment me.
Anyway, I finally managed to see it today and just as expected I really enjoyed it. Its a 45 minute long short film about a 15 year old high schooler who aspires to be a shoe maker and a 27 year old high school teacher who is having work related problems.
The two meet at a pavilion in a park or garden on rainy mornings and slowly begin to interact and get closer to each other with each passing day. Despite what the title says, there are very few lines of dialogue in this film which is something I highly appreciate because the visual and music are more than enough to convey the message to the viewers.
See The Garden of Words is a typical bitter-sweet romance story, the signature of Makoto Shinkai works and I love it for that. Just like his first ever work , Voices of a Distant Star which he amazingly did entirely on his own, The Garden of Words is about long distance relationships. I have somehow been unfortunate in my love life, 2 of the 3 relationships I’ve been in have been long distance, and I think that is why I respond so well to Makoto Shinkai works.
The Nostalgic and dream like aura his anime have work extremely well to convey the feeling of incomprehensible loneliness and longing one feels when they are in a long distance relationship or have found themselves in unrequited love. Its not exactly gloomy its somewhat comforting yet gloomy at the same time which is exactly how all of Makoto Shinkai’s romance films feel.
I have noticed that this is also a major complaint for most anime fans who “don’t get” his loyal supporters. I believe in order to really enjoy Makoto Shinkai’s films one must allow themselves to be immersed in this gloomy, lonely yet comforting world he is building, one must be able to be emotionally manipulated by the almost cryptic dialogue in his films. That or they just have to experience what it’s like to be in a long distance relationship or bitter-sweet relationship at least once.
Most of Shinkai’s anime don’t have peachy perfect endings, which are unfortunately how most of these relationships end up anyway, but somehow they still leave you with a sense of hope. “Maybe true love does exist out there”, “maybe they can get together if they really work harder at it.” All these are thoughts that Shinkai leaves lingering in his viewer’s minds as the credits roll on each of his beautifully animated films.
In the end, The Garden of Words is one of the most immaculately drawn and beautifully animated anime I have ever seen and its content is something any romance fan should see. It struck a chord in me that hasn’t really been touched since 5 cm per second and Toradora!